Posts Tagged: the last book i loved

Rhona Cleary: The Last Book I Loved, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

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Was there ever a place greyer, wetter or lonelier than Paris in the fall?

For an Irish person, that’s a weighty question to consider. I guess that in some other incarnation of myself I might have found the glistening cobblestones of Montmartre immeasurably romantic but with my fiancé away on tour and being (scarcely) self-employed, the dampness weighed down heavily on my mood, pushing me into a period of semi-hibernation.

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Traci Dolan: The Last Book I Loved, The Stone Virgins

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One of the first things that became apparent while reading Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins was a gentle spiraling, a contracting of the scope of the novel, from the streets of Bulawayo to the small village of Kezi via the local gathering place Thandabantu; from Thenjiwe and her unnamed lover to her sister Nonceba; contracting into a pinpoint during the murder of Thenjiwe and the rape and mutilation of Nonceba.

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Emma Borges-Scott: The Last Book I Loved, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

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I read Alice Munro’s books in benders. It usually takes me less than two days to finish one of her collections, and while reading it, I make and break promises to myself—to stop after this story, to take a shower, to run an errand just for the exercise or maybe see a friend (or else around eleven PM, I will find myself regretting how restless and dirty I am, still in last night’s pajamas, which are now exactly my body temperature.)

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Matt Leibel: The Last Book I Loved, Atlas of Remote Islands

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Maps, at their best, are more than representations of the world. They are worlds unto themselves—endlessly explorable, enigmatic, complicated, and alive. I remember the first globe I owned as a kid. I liked to spin it on its axis, as hard as I could, as if it were the big-money wheel from some cheesy game show, Wheel of Fortune or The Price is Right.

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Carolyn Lang: The Last Book I Loved, You Shall Know Our Velocity!

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The last book that I loved was You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers, which is about two friends, Will and Hand, who come into $32,000 around the same time one of their friends dies unexpectedly.

They are devastated by his death, and decide that they can’t keep the money because of the pain it represents. The book unfolds from Will’s perspective as the two friends impulsively embark on a globe-crossing adventure to give the money away to people they think deserve it.

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John Knight: The Last Book I Loved, The Best of Roald Dahl

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There are too many good writers for me to keep track of so, mostly for the sake of convenience, I categorize them: Koontz writes thrillers, Franzen does literature, King fills the world with horror, Snickett delights children.

The problem is that this pigeon-hole system, though it works with some authors, it woefully misrepresents others to the point of exclusion.

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Christopher Forsley: The Last Book I Loved, Blue Movie

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Every time I watch a porno—whether it’s Lesbians in the Produce Section or Cheerleader Tryouts with Coach Lester—I start critiquing the plot, the acting, and even the lighting. Why doesn’t, I ask myself, a real director make a porno, a real director with trained thespians and a script from a literary talent; but not just a porno—a smut flick, an all-out fuckfest?!

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Ari Messer: The Last Book I Loved, Ablutions

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Why is the second person such a natural and addictive tense–perhaps the only honest one–when writing about drug abuse and a foggy recovery?

For years, you haven’t been able to stop asking this question. Reading Patrick deWitt’s Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, you are asking it again, vocally (a real dinner-party silencer), by mistake or with motivations hidden from even yourself.

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Christopher Benz: The Last Book I Loved, The Blind Side

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I remember being 18 years old, secretly thinking that all the good writers were dead or past their prime. I wanted to be born in the twenties, where wilderness was untamed and fiction was wide open. I knew there must be someone great out there, but the only writers I had loved were the Hemingways and Steinbecks and Fitzgeralds I had come across in English class.

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Devon Shepherd: The Last Book I Loved, The Sheltering Sky

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I loved this book. Haunting prose. Exotic locale. Existentialist themes. I stayed up much too late to read it,  enchanted – entranced even –  only to wake up with bags under my eyes and vague memories of desert-sun dreams.

The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles, is an incredible story of two people wrestling with (and running from) their freedom, as they rush about between desert towns, chasing a specter as ephemeral as the sand djinn, themselves – their love for each other.

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Ben Shattuck: The Last Book I Loved, Sailing Alone Around the World

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“Remember, Lord, my ship is small and thy sea is so wide!” – Joshua Slocum, sailing through a storm south of Tierra del Fuego.

When Joshua Slocum (author of Sailing Alone Around the World, first published in Great Britain by Sampson Law in 1900) arrived in Apia, Samoa at the house of Robert Louis Stevenson on July 16, 1896, he was a third of the way to becoming first person to sail single-handedly around the world.

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Jake Cline: The Last Book I Loved, Mother Night

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If he had not been such a pacifist, Kurt Vonnegut would have made a hell of a boxer.

I say this knowing full well that Vonnegut was not an impressive physical specimen. His posture was miserable, his countenance was haggard and his lungs were lacquered with so much tar from smoking unfiltered Pall Malls you’d have thought he’d spent his life paving interstate highways.

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Ujala Sehgal: The Last Book I Loved, Hopscotch

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Would I find Cortazar?

But I wasn’t really looking for Cortazar when I read his masterpiece, Hopscotch. I was, I’m sorry to say, looking for myself. And just to make the cliché complete, I was looking for myself while living a bohemian existence in Buenos Aires, with little idea of how I got there or where I was going next, after quitting a corporate job in New York.

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Larry Fahey: The Last Book I Loved, Bullet Park

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I should say at the outset that while Bullet Park is a good book, and in my opinion a great book, it is not a sound book.

Cheever is rightly (though myopically) criticized for never having really solved the novel, and most of the five he wrote, including both Bullet Park and even the one generally considered his best, Falconer, show his struggle plainly: He was a peerless short story writer, and when he takes on the novel it’s a bit like a baseball player who never really learned how to swing a golf club.

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